The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has recently released a range of resources to assist federal agencies, states, and local governments in improving coordination between healthcare, public health, and social services. Among these resources is a comprehensive playbook that focuses on addressing social determinants of health.
The playbook outlines the steps that federal agencies are taking to promote health by addressing the social circumstances of individuals. It includes various programs from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Environmental Protection Agency. These programs aim to invest in community infrastructure, provide grants to empower communities in addressing health-related social needs, and promote data sharing to improve health outcomes.
HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra emphasized the importance of addressing patients’ social conditions in order to improve overall healthcare and public health outcomes. He highlighted how access to stable housing, healthy food, clean air can greatly impact an individual’s overall health.
In addition to the playbook, HHS has also introduced a call-to-action for addressing health-related social needs and a Medicaid and CHIP framework for promoting such efforts.
The resources provided by CMS will help ensure equal access to healthcare for all Americans while contributing to improved healthcare outcomes for everyone by focusing on social determinants of health that affect people’s wellbeing beyond just physical illnesses.
Overall, these resources demonstrate CMS’s commitment towards promoting holistic healthcare that addresses not only medical issues but also addresses other factors that impact people’s quality of life such as housing conditions or food access.